Author Topic: Helmet Safety factors  (Read 1944 times)

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Offline BillB_VA

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Helmet Safety factors
« on: April 20, 2014, 11:15:51 pm »
I can't figure out which category to put this post under. So I'll try this one.  I have an opinion about helmet choice, but I'd like to know what others think. I have always heard, if you have a $25 head then buy a $25 helmet. I get it.  You get what you pay for.  I've been riding for almost 30 years with only a few years here and there that I didn't own and regularly ride a bike.  I've always worn a helmet and always will.  I don't cut corners when it comes to protective equipment. But I am looking for a new helmet. I own a couple of helmets. All are DOT approved.  I bought a HJC a few years ago for about $125. It's a decent helmet but it doesn't match my blue C14. I want to buy another one and I have yet to find a helmet that is just one color that matches my bike. I was going to get another HJC, probably a modular design. When I started looking, I saw prices ranging from $125 to $$$$ Mucho Dinero. I saw a few helmets at a local shop costing almost $1000.  I know everyone has an opinion and I welcome your words of wisdom. I see no reason to pay allot of money, unless the higher the cost the greater the safety factor. So is there a difference in safety factor? Or should all that matters be that the helmet meets DOT standard.  I shouldn't need to ask that question. But I'm curious what others think.  How much difference does it make purely in the safety factor of the helmet. I realize that models offer different features and you pay for what you want.  If anyone know of an online vendor that offers the best price on helmets and choices of helmets, I would appreciate the info. Thanks and Happy Easter to you all.
Bill Brown
Newport News, VA
2010' C-14

Offline gPink

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 11:29:10 pm »
Have you read an '05 article by Dexter Ford called 'Blowing the Lid Off'?

Offline cra-z1000

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 11:44:20 pm »
I always buy the best one I can afford and always get silver .I'm not worried about matching my bike , just not cooking my head with a dark one .
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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 11:47:08 pm »
There are plenty of articles out there on this subject.  Sadly I've been unable to find Dexter Ford's original 2005 article.

http://jalopnik.com/5582380/how-the-truth-about-motorcycle-helmets-got-a-journalist-fired

http://dualsportalchemy.com/2012/07/gray-matter-revisiting-the-motorcycle-helmet-standards-controversy/

http://www.westcoastweasels.com/archives/PDF/Blowing_the_Lid_Off.pdf

My OPINION is that the extra dollars buy comfort and style rather than safety, but I've got nothing much to support that.

Offline gPink

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2014, 12:12:01 am »
I have the pdf of the original but it's to large to post so I don't know how to share it.

Offline fartymarty

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 03:31:37 am »
I have the pdf of the original but it's to large to post so I don't know how to share it.


This it?: http://lic.abateflorida.com/Library/Library/BlowingTheLidOff.pdf
 
At the bottom it seems as though there may be a part II, but I couldn't find it.

This seemed interesting: http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/features/200502Hurt.pdf

Offline Racerboy

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 04:01:25 am »
I'm sure that most DOT approved helmets are pretty much equal in performance as far as absorbing energy in an accident. The difference in the more expensive helmet is the quality of the materials, features, and workmanship. The higher priced lids are probably more comfortable, due the higher quality materials, and more attention spent on the little details.

A cheap Kia can get you down the road just as effectively as an expensive Lexus, but the experience will be more pleasant in the Lexus.

Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 10:23:33 am »
Approval by DOT, Snell, TUV, CE, etc mean that the helmet has been found to meet performance standards as regards protection. Cost is determined by the materials used, e.g.  a helmet with a shell made up of carbon fiber will cost much more than one with a shell made of polycarbonate. The carbon fiber helmet will probably be noticeably lighter as well. Hand laid fiberglass will cost more than injection molded polycarbonate. The biggest factor you should consider is FIT. Everyone's head is shaped differently; some are more oval, some are more round, etc. Nothing will drive you crazier quicker than an ill-fitting helmet. Determine the price point you are willing to pay, go someplace that carries a lot of helmets or visit lots of stores and try some on. Wear one around in the store for 20 minutes or so. Yes you will look dorky; get over it. Simply putting it on and taking it back off will not give you a real idea about how well it fits. Buy the helmet that fits YOUR head the best.

One of the reasons we wear helmets is protection. I suggest you get a helmet that improves your chances of being SEEN. That means a bright color like Yellow, Neon Green, White, Silver. 
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Offline JJFLASH

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2014, 10:42:52 am »
Opinions on helmets are a little like opinions on best engine oil.

In my opinion
1) Full face are better than modular
2) Modular are better than 3/4
3) 3/4 are better than 1/2
4) 1/2 are better than novelty
5) novelty are only slight better than no helmet

If the helmet meets DOT, SNELL ratings then they offer good protection.  At least they have been tested.  Predicting which helmet will work best will require knowing in advance where and how hard the impact will be.  Not something that can be protected.

Higher priced helmets, have features such as low noise, low weight, removal interior to for cleaning, better optical clarity for the shield, better ventilation, some better quality construction (not necessarily better protection).  Having said that, I where a reasonable expensive top of the line helmet for the features.  Not that I think the protection is superior.

Offline TLR

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2014, 02:39:06 pm »
Anybody know if it's still the case that Snell Foundation won't certify modular helmets?  Years ago, they wouldn't.
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 03:21:08 pm »
Anybody know if it's still the case that Snell Foundation won't certify modular helmets?  Years ago, they wouldn't.


They apparently will, but not many on their list...LS2 and Zeus were all I could find on their list. http://www.smf.org/certlist/std_M2010

Offline BillB_VA

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2014, 07:57:01 pm »
I read the "blowing the lid off"article about helmet design. Thanks for posting the link. I'm a paramedic. I have seen lots of motorcycle collisions in 25 yrs. it may be surprising but the info about head impacts is pretty close to what I have seen. Not many crashes result in direct head impact. When it does happen the closed head injury is a definite concern as well as cervical spine fractures. I appreciate the comments about helmet color. I already own a silver open face helmet, a black 3/4 and a black 1/2 shell.

Bill
Newport News, VA
Bill Brown
Newport News, VA
2010' C-14

Offline 2linby

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2014, 04:18:30 am »
Opinions on helmets are a little like opinions on best engine oil.

In my opinion
1) Full face are better than modular
2) Modular are better than 3/4
3) 3/4 are better than 1/2
4) 1/2 are better than novelty
5) novelty are only slight better than no helmet

If the helmet meets DOT, SNELL ratings then they offer good protection.  At least they have been tested.  Predicting which helmet will work best will require knowing in advance where and how hard the impact will be.  Not something that can be protected.

Higher priced helmets, have features such as low noise, low weight, removal interior to for cleaning, better optical clarity for the shield, better ventilation, some better quality construction (not necessarily better protection).  Having said that, I where a reasonable expensive top of the line helmet for the features.  Not that I think the protection is superior.



"As Harry Hurt, who has done more independent research than anybody in this area, remarked:

 "Don't worry if you are wearing a helmet with a chin bar. Worry if you're not."


Buy a helmet that fits you well and wear it on every ride. 


http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~john/vfr/hurt.html


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Offline Boomer

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2014, 10:06:36 am »
The best safety tests in use today are SHARP.
http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/
Lookup your lid and if you see a brown, red or black impact section anywhere then please consider getting a new lid.
Green & yellow are good, orange is adequate.
Most of those with 3star or lower ratings are due to awful side impact protection.
For the "System" or "Modular" lids it also relates the % of impacts where the chin piece stayed locked.


George "Boomer" Garratt
Wickford, UK
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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2014, 03:50:17 pm »
My wife and I always wear full face, and usually Aria or Shoei.  I had read that you shouldn't worry about Snell as much as whether the helmet is comfortable or not.  We are got to try our shoei's on a full head impact on the side of a van at 55mph. They are being replaced with new Shoei's.  I feel 400 bucks is cheap insurance, and like others have said, what you pay for is low noise, low weight, and advancements seem to show up first on high end helmets.  (like the cheek pad removal system). I hit hard enough to crack the chin bar, so I will stay away from modular.  Light weight and low noise (we still wear ear plugs) are important if you ride long days.  Guess you have to look at what you need and what you are comfortable with. I use to have different helmets for different rides. A short day ride in the summer, a well ventilated hemet, noise not a big issue, ear plugs and, well, a short day made it work.  Know a lot of folks with HJC and they really like them.
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Offline 2linby

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2014, 07:51:01 pm »
My wife and I always wear full face, and usually Aria or Shoei.  I had read that you shouldn't worry about Snell as much as whether the helmet is comfortable or not.  We are got to try our shoei's on a full head impact on the side of a van at 55mph. They are being replaced with new Shoei's.  I feel 400 bucks is cheap insurance, and like others have said, what you pay for is low noise, low weight, and advancements seem to show up first on high end helmets.  (like the cheek pad removal system). I hit hard enough to crack the chin bar, so I will stay away from modular.  Light weight and low noise (we still wear ear plugs) are important if you ride long days.  Guess you have to look at what you need and what you are comfortable with. I use to have different helmets for different rides. A short day ride in the summer, a well ventilated hemet, noise not a big issue, ear plugs and, well, a short day made it work.  Know a lot of folks with HJC and they really like them.

WOW!  Broke the chin bar!   :-\  I cannot imagine what your chin, jaw, cheek, etc... would have looked like had you not been wearing a full face helmet.  This is a great example why everyone should wear a quality full face helmet.

Thanks for sharing. 
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Offline dan4aspen

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Re: Helmet Safety factors
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2014, 05:48:10 am »
According to  that site, my HJC has better protection than most of the SHOEI and ARAI's listed, so price isn't safety, according to that article.  Very interesting read.  Will find a helmet with better side protection!!!
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